The Power of Authenticity in Sales with Fred Diamond

Fred Diamond‘s work at the Institute for Excellence in Sales (IES) and advocacy for Lyme disease awareness highlight how personal challenges can enhance one’s professional capabilities. 

In a recent conversation with Collin Stewart on the Predictable Revenue podcast, Fred shared how an unusual path involving his battle with Lyme disease made him a better sales leader. 

This story is a testament to the power of empathy, authenticity, and commitment in building stronger professional relationships and achieving success in sales.

The Value of Diverse Experiences

Fred Diamond’s experience as both a sales leader and a Lyme disease advocate illustrates the value of diverse experiences in enhancing professional capabilities. His work at the Institute for Excellence in Sales (IES) and advocacy for Lyme disease awareness demonstrate how personal challenges can enrich one’s professional life.

  • Sales Leadership through Empathy: Fred’s advocacy has instilled a greater empathy, which is crucial for connecting with customers.
  • Integrating Personal and Professional Lives: Balancing his professional work with personal advocacy has made Fred a more relatable and effective leader.

The Power of Community and Support

Fred’s involvement in Lyme disease advocacy highlights the significance of community support, a principle he applies to his work at IES.

  • Creating a Supportive Sales Environment: Just as Lyme disease communities support each other, sales teams should foster an environment of collaboration and mutual support.
  • Leveraging Networks: Building a solid network in sales or advocacy is essential for providing support and sharing resources.

Strategic Use of Personal Insights

Fred’s dual focus on sales and Lyme disease advocacy shows how personal insights can drive professional success.

  • Transforming Personal Challenges into Professional Strengths: Fred’s personal experiences with Lyme disease have made him more empathetic and better equipped to handle customer concerns.
  • Educational Initiatives: By educating others about Lyme disease, Fred has honed his communication and advocacy skills transferable to his sales leadership role.


Integrating Personal Advocacy to Strengthen Relationships

Fred shared how his advocacy for Lyme disease unexpectedly strengthened his professional relationships. Initially, he hesitated to integrate this personal mission into his professional brand, fearing it might distract or detract from his sales leadership. 

However, the response he received after publishing an article on Lyme disease was overwhelming. Hundreds of people reached out, expressing gratitude and relief that someone cared about this often-dismissed illness.

One significant outcome was reconnecting with a former client, a VP of Sales, whose son suffered from chronic Lyme disease. This client had previously dropped off Fred’s radar, but after seeing Fred’s posts about Lyme disease, he initiated contact. 

Their conversation, rooted in empathy and shared personal struggle, was one of the most authentic Fred had ever experienced. This interaction not only revived their relationship but also led to the client renewing his company’s membership with the IES.

Making it Social

Fred’s advocacy work, shared across social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, created opportunities for authentic connections and business growth. 

By discussing Lyme disease openly, Fred connected with others with similar experiences, fostering more profound, meaningful professional relationships. This approach demonstrated the power of authenticity in sales, showing that personal stories could enhance trust and build more robust professional networks.

The Role of Empathy in Sales

One of the pivotal moments in Fred’s advocacy was his interview with Alyssa Merwin Henderson, who highlighted vulnerability as a strength in leadership. She demonstrated how vulnerability builds trust and authenticity by being transparent about her struggles and successes. This resonated with Fred, reinforcing that empathy is crucial for effective leadership.

The pandemic further underscored the importance of empathy. 

Fred recalled a memorable exchange during a podcast with Dan Cole. When asked when salespeople could stop being empathetic, Dan said, “Empathy is the foundation of sales. Without it, success in sales is unattainable.”

Fred’s daily interactions with Lyme disease survivors have given him a profound understanding of their struggles. This empathy has translated into his professional life, where he now approaches client interactions with a deeper sense of compassion. 

Seeing the severe impact of Lyme disease has put his professional challenges into perspective, making him more patient and understanding in his dealings.

Commitment to Personal and Professional Growth

Beyond empathy, Fred’s advocacy journey has taught him about genuine commitment. He shared a powerful analogy about commitment, comparing superficial commitments to genuine dedication. 

Whether losing weight or excelling in sales, real commitment requires consistent effort and sacrifice. For sales professionals, this means staying informed about industry changes, understanding competitors, and truly knowing the customer’s needs.

Going Beyond Surface-Level Interactions

Fred emphasizes the importance of moving beyond surface-level interactions in sales. Traditional sales conversations often focus on tactical questions and surface-level details. 

However, Fred’s experience shows that understanding clients’ stories can create a stronger bond.

Fred shared an example of reconnecting with a former client who had a personal connection to Lyme disease. This conversation went beyond the usual sales dialogue, allowing Fred to ask relevant, empathetic questions based on his deep understanding of the disease. This approach rekindled their professional relationship and built a foundation of trust and mutual respect.

The Power of Being Interesting and Interested

One of Fred’s key insights is the importance of being both interested in sales and interested in the business. Engaging clients in meaningful conversations about topics they care about, such as industry trends and personal interests, can significantly impact them.

Fred advises being genuinely curious about the client’s world and showing a genuine interest in their challenges and goals. This approach helps build a connection beyond the transactional nature of sales.

Take Action and Make a Difference

Fred’s advocacy work has also taught him the importance of taking action. Whether creating a nonprofit, writing a book, or simply helping others in need, taking action can lead to positive change and develop a sense of purpose.

He shared a story about an interview with Bonnie Crater, who encouraged listeners to “just do something” to make a difference. This call to action resonates in personal and professional realms, inspiring others to take initiative and create impact.

Fred’s journey underscores that authenticity, empathy, and action-orientedness can transform sales interactions. These qualities help build stronger professional relationships and foster a sense of fulfillment and purpose.


Fred Diamond’s journey highlights how personal advocacy can enhance professional capabilities. His advocacy for Lyme disease deepened his empathy and authenticity, key traits that strengthened his sales approach.

Fred built deeper client relationships by sharing personal stories, moving beyond surface-level interactions. His experience underscores the importance of empathy, commitment, and authenticity in sales.

Fred’s story shows that integrating personal experiences into professional life can lead to meaningful connections and tremendous success. Embracing these values can transform sales interactions and drive growth.

Elevate your sales game with the Institute for Excellence in Sales. From training programs to valuable resources, unlock your sales potential today. 

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